Taking great credit for prioritizing its clients and offering the best customer service, Merchant Focus Processing is a merchant service provider established in 2004. Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, and otherwise known as Established Merchant Focus, the company started as a small-scale startup and expanded its roots to businesses all around the U.S.
Merchant Focus Processing caters to B2B, SAAS, mobile, e-commerce, and international businesses and serves multiple industries, including healthcare, gas stations, restaurants, personal services, property management, moving companies, and retail. The provider’s primary focus is credit card processing. It is a verified ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank AG and utilizes the services of Authorize.Net to provide online payment solutions.
The company has partnered with various corporate companies, including GoEcart, AppNinjas, PulseCommerce, and NTarget, to facilitate the best online and offline shopping experience for merchants and their customers. It is an Inner Fence and AppNinja’s Swipe processor and prides itself on serving $250,000 in credit card sales annually. Here is a thorough Merchant Focus Processing review summing up the provider’s many services and loopholes to help merchants determine if it is a better fit for their business;
Products and Features
The provider offers multi-currency acceptance, online invoicing, e-check services, gift cards, and mobile payment apps. Consumers are provided with EMV processing, mobile card readers, POS equipment, virtual POS, and contactless NFC. The company brings several extensive mobile payment features, such as automatic tax calculation, customized branding, electronic signature capture, SSL encryption, tip acceptance, and multiple user interfaces. These features enable merchants to offer a safe checkout to their customers from the comfort of their homes.
E-Commerce Payment Solutions
Through the company’s partnership with Authorize.Net, merchants are offered an industry-leading payment gateway for processing online payments. The provider’s e-commerce merchant account includes a recurring billing option, helping merchants avoid delayed payments. It secures the cardholder’s data and carries automated payments at predefined intervals.
According to Merchant Focus Processing reviews, consumers can turn their computers into virtual POS by installing an app to accept payments, print or email receipts, and send refunds. Users are also offered free USB card readers and can access QuickBooks integration and individual transaction histories from anywhere.
Retail Payment Solutions
New consumers signing up for retail accounts are offered free terminals for their brick-and-mortar businesses. They can process credit and debit card transactions and deposit the funds in their checking account. However, merchants accepting credit card brands like Discover American Express require separate approvals. Moreover, they can reprogram their existing equipment to the Merchant Focus POS terminal.
Merchants can benefit from the surcharge-compliant terminals facilitated by the company and can save significantly every year. This program is a way to free merchants from their credit card processing fees. Currently, businesses located in 42 out of the 50 states of the U.S. can qualify for a surcharge by demanding an additional (fixed 3% or the actual cost of acceptance, depending on which one is lower) amount for each credit card purchase.
With this program, merchants can unburden themselves from the expense and offer more convenient payment methods to customers. Surcharging even allows some customers to accept credit card payments in the first place.
Mobile Payment Processing
Merchants away from their business outlet can accept card payments anywhere on their smartphones. The provider offers TakeCharge Mobile to facilitate remote transactions with free mobile card readers. Users can access transaction history, offer electronic signature capture to their customers, deal with multiple clients at once, and email receipts. The company facilitates 24/7 tech support and offers address verification features and SSL encryption to ensure communication security.
Merchant Focus Processing Contract and Fees
The company does not offer insight into its pricing and contract details. Multiple Merchant Focus Processing reviews clarify that businesses processing more than $250,000 annually may qualify for the interchange plus pricing model, whereas merchants processing less are offered a tiered pricing plan. However, interchange plus pricing is not the company’s usual preference. For online payments, the provider charges a per-transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30, a $25 gateway fee, and a $0.15 batch fee.
Before canceling the contract, consumers only have to send a written notice to avoid ETF. Here is an overview of the provider’s rates for an average agreement;
- 1.69% plus $0.25 qualified rate for swiped card transaction
- 2.29% plus $0.25 mid-qualified rates
- 2.89% plus $0.29 for keyed-in transactions
- 2.19% plus $0.24 for MOTO transactions
- $15 monthly minimum fee
- $10 statement fee
Marketing Strategies and Customer Support
The provider has reserved a phone number and email address for customers to reach out to. A live chat feature, FAQ page, and customer service form are available on the official website.
The provider hires independent sales representatives to promote its brand, leading to multiple complaints. Even though the agents do not practice unethical tactics voluntarily, they are trained to conceal important information. Moreover, the company does not provide all the necessary information to its clients.
Merchant Focus Processing Reviews and Complaints
Even though the provider has maintained a low complaint total, few complaints cited online have a serious tone. Merchants have shown irritation over unreachable customer service, withholding of funds, and problematic contract canceling policies. Moreover, consumers face difficulty reaching the sales representative even after multiple tries. The company has no mentionable lawsuit or FTC reports against it.
Better Business Bureau Report
The provider was accredited by BBB in 2014 under its business name ‘Established Merchant Focus’ and was rated A+ on its profile. However, as not verified by BBB, this rating cannot be trusted. Merchants have posted very few formal and informal complaints on the review platform, but the company has not resolved them to the customer’s satisfaction.
Major MFP Loopholes
Merchants state that the company takes advantage of small businesses and fails to offer reliable support. It does not disclose important information, undertrains its sales agents, and ignores consumer complaints. Here is a Merchant Focus Processing review covering the disadvantages of choosing it as your payment facilitator;
Irresponsible Customer Service
Merchant Focus fails to offer a 24/7 service with minimal support options. Merchants have complained about being unable to reach a customer service representative and their calls being ignored. Most consumer complaints either go unnoticed or remain unresolved. The company lacks in this department and needs significant improvement to be considered a reasonable service provider.
Withholding of Funds
Multiple Merchant Focus Processing reviews indicate that the provider wrongfully withholds their funds. Complaints about unapproved removal of funds event after account cancelation are common against the company. Some merchants even hinted at being charged for services they did not sign for. This is a major red flag that businesses need to be aware of.
The company serves high-risk merchants and claims a high-risk tolerance which is concerning for most clients. A high-risk tolerant payment facilitator focuses on producing high returns without minding the consequences. Failing to maintain the claims, the provider often causes severe loss for its clients as it is prepared to risk investments for estimated benefits. By taking aggressive measures to reach instant success, the company may jeopardize a business’s hard-earned money.
Misleading Sales Tactics
Several complaints prove that the company trains its sales representatives to mislead clients and keep them hanging. Merchant Focus Processing reviews on consumer protection platforms indicate that a salesperson, upon being asked about the reason for unjustified charges, lied to merchants and ignored them afterward.
The provider displays misleading quotes and entertains unrealistic expectations, tricking merchants into assuming lower rates than what it actually charges. It even implies providing multiple pricing models to all business types but only offers a tiered pricing plan to most clients.
Even though the company does not charge an early termination fee, its rates are not cheap compared to other affordable service providers. Merchants are only qualified for lower rates while processing specific credit card brands, and the provider’s mid-qualified rates are not affordable for most businesses.
Consumers are charged a high gateway fee and forced to pay more than reasonable for online payment processing. Furthermore, the company’s rates depend on a list of factors, including the agent setting up the account, business type, processing needs, and the partner company providing the payment gateway, which can end up causing more trouble than ease for its clients.
This Merchant Focus Processing review portrays that the provider is unsuitable for most small businesses. Only high-risk companies willing to deal with its nondisclosure policy, unresponsive support team, and misleading sales agents should consider signing up with the company. Small-scale companies expecting transparency and full disclosure should find a better-fitting payment facilitator that prioritizes its client’s benefits.
Merchants should beware of any suspicious clause, ask all the necessary questions, understand the company’s services, and demand truthful guidance from the sales representatives. Before signing up with the company, consumers better compare their options and weigh the pros and cons. They should ask for the interchange plus pricing plan and negotiate the rates to reach a mutual agreement.